Note: The following is an excerpt from a piece I’ve been working on for a long time about regionalism and separatism in Canada. The rest of the piece hasn’t been coming together, but this section neatly sums up my feelings and I’d rather not let it sit unread in the middle of a chunk of less successful writing. -josh
Stephen Harper’s greatest crime is stoking the fires of regionalism in this country. Remember that this is the same guy who spent years in the house accusing the Liberals of a Quebec bias. Well you see his true colours now. Stephen Harper is without a doubt to the West what Gilles Duceppe is to Quebec. He’s got the same chip on his shoulder and the same sense of entitlement born of the same victim complex. Those attitudes breed regionalism and regionalism is and always has been the greatest threat to our massive and fragile nation. You may not be a fan of Pierre Trudeau but he had a unique ability to identify this threat and he attacked it wherever he could, most famously in Quebec. He didn’t fight the separatists because they sought independence; but rather because they sought to reward Quebecers for thinking small by embracing isolationism. The Conservatives play the same game; rousing their base while casting the rest of us aside. It’s somewhat ironic, actually; for someone who so gleefully mocks the separatists to be so like them.